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Monthly Archives: July 2012

Tobias Levkovich: There’s A 97% Chance That Stocks Are Going To Shoot Higher

“Tobias Levkovich, Citi’s top U.S. equity strategist says there are many indicators, both short and intermediate, that show that markets are “poised to rally this summer into the fall” despite concerns over Europe, slowing global growth, U.S. elections, and the fiscal cliff.”

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Volatility Surges In S&P 500 With Volume Lowest In Decade

“Volatility in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is returning to levels that drove valuations and stock volume down to rates not seen since at least 2003.

Average daily price changes in the benchmark gauge for American equities doubled to 1 percent in June, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. At the same time, U.S. trading has plunged to 6.8 billion shares a day and valuations are 16 percent below the five-decade mean. Reaching those levels in tandem is unprecedented in at least nine years, the data show.”

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BNP Said To Mull Plan For $50 Billion Spain-Italy Funds Gap

BNP Paribas SA (BNP), France’s largest bank, may narrow a 40 billion-euro ($50 billion) funding gap in Spain and Italy by moving some loans in those countries to deposit- rich Belgium, three people with knowledge of the matter said.

The bank is seeking to tighten the mismatch of loans and deposits in European countries by the transfer of export-lending and project-finance portfolios to Belgium, the people said, citing Chief Financial Officer Lars Machenil at a meeting last month in Paris. The bank also studied moving commodities-finance assets to Switzerland, they said, declining to be identified because the discussions aren’t public.”

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World Bank President Will Focus on Global Growth as a First Priority

“Jim Yong Kim, who took over as World Bank president yesterday, said his first task will be to help emerging markets keep expanding at a time of stress for the world economy.

“We begin our work together at a crucial moment” as the global economy “remains vulnerable,” Kim wrote in an e-mail to the Washington-based bank’s staff obtained by Bloomberg News. “My immediate priority will be to intensify the Bank Group’s efforts to help developing countriesprotect growth and jobs.”

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Micron Will Spend $2.5 Billion to Buy Elpida Memory – $MU

Micron Technology Inc. (MU) agreed to buy bankrupt Japanese chipmaker Elpida Memory Inc. in a transaction valued at 200 billion yen ($2.5 billion), gaining memory chip- making assets that may help it avert price swings that fueled four straight quarters of losses.

Micron will pay 60 billion yen in cash at the closing of the deal, while the remaining 140 billion yen in future annual installments through 2019 will come from cash flow generated by Boise, Idaho-based Micron’s payment for chips made by Elpida, according to a statement today.”

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Economists Cut GDP Growth for Brazil Again

For the eight week in a row analysts have cut GDP growth for Brazil. Economists now expect a meager 2.05% growth rate for 2012. A horrible estimate for an emerging market indeud.

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An Independent Auditor Says France Will Need to Save 43 Billion Euros This and Next Year to Avoid a Fiscal Cliff Scenario

France needs as much as 43 billion euros ($54 billion) in savings this year and next, the nationalauditor said, setting the stage for budget cuts by Socialist President Francois Hollande.

The coming year is “a crucial one in which the budgetary calculation will be difficult — more difficult than thought because of slower growth,” Didier Migaud, who heads the audit body, told journalists today in Paris. “It will require an unprecedented brake on spending and higher taxes.”

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Europe, Asia Stocks Gain On Factory Gauges; Euro Weakens

European stocks rose for a second day and Asian equities headed for their longest winning streak since March as manufacturing indicators in Japan and China beat forecasts. The euro fell before factory and jobs data for the currency bloc and oil declined from a one-month high.

The Stoxx Europe 600 (SXXP) Index added 0.2 percent as of 8:01 a.m. in London, while theMSCI Asia Pacific (MXAP) Index gained 0.3 percent in its fourth day of gains. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures slipped 0.3 percent. The euro dropped against most of its major peers after gaining 1.8 percent against the dollar on June 29. Oil in New York sank 1.5 percent to $83.72 a barrel after surging the most in three years. Corn rose to the highest since September. The Markit iTraxx indexes tracking credit- default swaps for Asia ex-Japan, Japan and Australia all fell.

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Congress Approved Transportation Funding/Student Loan Bill

Washington (CNN) — Congress gave final approval Friday to a giant transportation funding bill as part of a package that includes a measure holding down interest rates on federal student loans.

Both issues are priorities of President Barack Obama’s, and the legislation demonstrated rare bipartisan agreement in the deeply divided Congress.

The package won Senate approval with a 74-19 vote after passing the House 373-52.

Hours later, President Barack Obama signed into a law a bill that temporarily — from June 30 through July 6 — assures there will be continued funding for certain transportation projects and halts potential student loan interest rate hikes, according to a news release issued by the White House shortly after 8 p.m. Friday.

He could sign the larger legislation at a later date, presumably by the end of next week before the stopgap bill expires.

Compromises on the transportation bill and the student loan issue, as well as a third component reauthorizing national flood insurance, came in rare bipartisan agreement during the same week that House Republicans enraged Democrats by voting to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.

None of the rancor from Thursday’s contempt vote was evident Friday, as legislators involved in reaching the compromise praised the bipartisan effort.

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Mexican Elections Underway

Mexico City (CNN) — Mexicans headed to the polls to vote Sunday in what officials have called “the largest and most complex election day” in the country’s history.

Four candidates are vying for the presidency. Voters will also cast ballots in congressional contests and, in six states, gubernatorial races.

“Never in Mexican democracy have so many posts been at play in the same popular election,” Federal Election Institute President Leonardo Valdes said in a statement.

More than 2,100 federal, state and local offices will be decided by Sunday’s vote, the institute said.

For the first time, more than 79 million people were registered to vote, according to the institute. Among them are 3.5 million young people who will vote for the first time, the institute said.

Nationwide, authorities said there would be more than 143,000 polling stations and more than 13,000 accredited observers.

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Clinton: Don’t Be Surprised If We Botch Syria

Geneva, Switzerland (CNN) — There is no guarantee that a sweeping new international agreement on Syria will succeed in ending the conflict there, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton conceded, as opposition activists said the number of dead had skyrocketed in recent months.

“There is no guarantee that we are going to be successful. I just hate to say that,” Clinton told CNN.

But she expressed optimism that a new agreement hammered out Saturday would help ease President Bashar al-Assad out of power.

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